What You Should (and Shouldn’t!) Say to Women Who Are Struggling To Conceive

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profile picture of Andrea Wolloff
Updated March 2, 2017
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Image: My Mommy Reality / The Bump

If you personally do not have experience with a complicated pregnancy or difficulty trying to conceive, talking to someone dealing with those issues can be intimidating. While I believe it’s 100% okay to share your life and experience, you may want to consider being sensitive to the struggles of others.

Here are a few dos and don’ts when it comes to potentially uncomfortable conversations:

Don’t avoid sharing your experience. If you are currently pregnant and have a friend who is TTC (trying to conceive), don’t avoid sharing your excitement and fears. The last thing someone who is TTC wants to feel is isolated from friends who are moms or soon-to-be moms.

Do consider the feelings of others. While it may be appropriate to share your experience with friends who are TTC, consider your tone when talking about pregnancy symptoms. Believe it or not, but someone who is TTC, very well may desire to experience morning sickness, gaining baby weight, and kicks in the ribs. Besides, you’ll have a happier pregnancy if you can laugh through these moments instead of complaining.

Don’t avoid the conversations. It’s likely your friend who is TTC really dislikes feeling isolated. If there’s an elephant in the room in the form of your pregnant belly, don’t avoid talking about it. Just don’t make it the only thing you talk about.

Do say “I’m sorry that you are going through this.” Feeling compassion for others is a part of life. Whether you are pregnant, already a mom, or not even thinking about having kids, don’t be afraid to express your sympathies.

And lastly…

Do ask questions about her life and really listen. On average, a person listens for 7 seconds during a conversation before interjecting. Give your friend more than 7 seconds. Make sure to dedicate some of the conversation to how she is doing without automatically relating it to your life.

What should you say to your TTC friends?

Please note: The Bump and the materials and information it contains are not intended to, and do not constitute, medical or other health advice or diagnosis and should not be used as such. You should always consult with a qualified physician or health professional about your specific circumstances.

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